perfnotes1    

AUTHORS: Retold by Elaine Lindy & Adapted by Lindsay Parker
COUNTRY: Tibet
GENRE: FairytalesKings & QueensMagical Creatures

Sunlight and Moonlight Reader’s Theater Play Script for Kids

 

CHARACTERS

NARRATOR
• QUEEN
• MAIDEN
• ALTAN KHAN
• MOONLIGHT
• SUNLIGHT
• HERMIT
• SOLDIER #1
• SOLDIER #2
• BATU KHAN
• PRINCESS ANU

• DEMON-BEAR #1
• DEMON-BEAR #2
• DEMON-BEAR #3
• PRINCESS WEN
• COURT HERALD

 

Scene 1 – Queen’s bedroom

[Stage set: The stage is split into three sections.  The first section is the QUEEN’S bedroom. The second section in the middle of the stage is a HERMIT’s house.  The third section is BATU KHAN’s castle.]

[The plan opens in the QUEEN’s bedroom.  There is a bed onstage.  (See Performance Notes for how to make a bed quickly that is also easy to move.)]

NARRATOR:
Ladies and gentleman, I am here to present a story called, “Sunlight & Moonlight.”  It’s a folktale from Tibet, a land in China. The story is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

[NARRATOR steps forward.]

NARRATOR:
Long ago, there was a prince named Sunlight.  That’s right- “Sunlight.”  Sunlight’s father, the Khan, ruled the land.  Sunlight grew up in a castle as a prince, but sadly, he had no mother because she had died when he was a baby.  When Sunlight was nearly a young man, his father the Khan married again.  The new queen moved in with her own son, named Moonlight. That’s right- “Moonlight.” Sunlight and his father welcomed Moonlight to the royal family. But the stepmother had no love for Sunlight.  She wanted her own son, Moonlight, to inherit the throne. 

[QUEEN and MAIDEN enter.]

QUEEN:
(mutters) MY son should be the one to sit on the throne!  What am I going to do about Prince Sunlight, that THORN in my SIDE?

MAIDEN:
What did you say, Your Majesty?

QUEEN:
WHAT? Um, what I said was, what are we going to do FOR Prince Sunlight, who’s KNOWN far and WIDE?

MAIDEN:
(nods) Ah, yes.  That’s what I thought you said, Your Majesty.

QUEEN:
(to audience) I must be more careful. And I need to come up with something soon. Wait! I have an idea! (swoons, then to Maiden) Quick! Get my husband, the Khan. Suddenly, I feel terribly ill!

MAIDEN:
Oh, dear! Yes, my Queen, right away.

[MAIDEN hurries offstage.]

QUEEN:
If I’m going to succeed, I’m going to have to really sell this (falls onto the bed and practices swooning and moaning).

[MAIDEN re-enters with KHAN #1.]

ALTAN KHAN:
(rushes to the Queen’s side) I came as soon as I heard! My darling, what’s wrong?

QUEEN:
It just came over me. Everything is swirling! I’m doomed! (groans loudly)

ALTAN KHAN:
Don’t say that!  I’ll send for a doctor, at once!

QUEEN:
Alas! There’s no time!

ALTAN KHAN:
What do you mean?

QUEEN:
This is the sweeping sickness! I haven’t much time left…

ALTAN KHAN:
What? I never heard of a sweeping sickness! But we’ll find out, and find the cure.

QUEEN #1:
There is no cure!  No one ever survives!

ALTAN KHAN:
What, never?

QUEEN:
No, never!

ALTAN KHAN:
What, NEVER?

QUEEN:
Well… hardly ever.

ALTAN KHAN:
You mean – there is a cure?

QUEEN:
Only one But alas (touches hand to her forehead in a gesture of distress), it is so difficult I am loath to even mention it.

ALTAN KHAN:
Whatever it is, my darling, tell me. As I am the Khan (points finger upward), it shall be done!

QUEEN:
Only because you insist. (swoons and lies down again) I am quite sure that your son Sunlight has cast an evil spell upon me. (sits up and looks directly at Altan Khan) The sole cure to save my life is to… bring me the blood from Sunlight’s heart. (turns head away from Altan Khan) Otherwise, I will surely die!

ALTAN KHAN:
(steps away and faces audience) What is she talking about? Such a vile deed would be insane! My poor wife must be mad from sickness. I will have a goat killed tonight and bring her its blood. She’ll never know the difference. Tomorrow, she will thank me for having answered her in this way (returns to Queen’s bedside and holds her hand).

[MOONLIGHT enters slowly from the left and stops to listen. Nobody notices he is on stage.]

MOONLIGHT:
There they are… (to audience) Oh, they seem busy with something important.  I’ll wait.

ALTAN KHAN:
(to Queen) Darling, do not worry. Rest assured, I will bring you the blood from Sunlight’s heart tonight. It will not be easy to do the deed, but if this is the price for curing your sickness, so it must be.

[QUEEN reaches out and pets ALTAN KHAN on the shoulder.]

[MOONLIGHT is shocked by what he heard. He claps his hands to his ears and runs offstage.]

Scene 2 – Desert

[Stage set: Props for QUEEN’s bedroom are removed.  You can suggest a dessert by showing on your painted backdrop a desert with rolling hills of sand, no bushes or flowers, and just a suggestion of trees in the distance.  One rock is onstage.  (See Performance Notes for the rock).  A very large sun shines overhead.  The sun can take up a large portino of the backdrop.]

[Slowly, SUNLIGHT and MOONLIGHT enter.]

SUNLIGHT:
I can’t get over that my father was willing to do that. I thought he loved me!

MOONLIGHT:
I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears.

SUNLIGHT:
How could he even consider such a thing?

MOONLIGHT:
How could my mother even ask for such a thing?

SUNLIGHT:
Well, it doesn’t matter. They’re both far behind us now.

MOONLIGHT:
We did the right thing by running away. (pauses) Right?

SUNLIGHT:
Of course! At least we’re safe, and we’re together. (looks up at sun and wipes forehead) This sun is beating me down.

MOONLIGHT:
(puts hand to forehead) To tell the truth, I’m feeling kind of dizzy.

SUNLIGHT:
We’ll get through this, Moonlight.

[MOONLIGHT stops and groans slightly.]

SUNLIGHT:
Moonlight?

MOONLIGHT:
It’ll pass. Don’t worry. (stands up straight) I’m all right.

[MOONLIGHT swoons and leans toward SUNLIGHT. SUNLIGHT holds him with both arms.]

MOONLIGHT:
Uh, maybe not so much.  Sunlight, I’m not going to be able to keep up. You go on ahead.

SUNLIGHT:
No way, my brother! We started this together and we’re staying together. (pauses a moment) How about this? I’ll explore as far as I can while keeping you in sight. Maybe there’s water out there somewhere. Or a shelter or something. You’ll stay here, right?

MOONLIGHT:
No problem. (sits on ground) I’m not going anywhere.

SUNLIGHT:
I’ll be back in a flash.

[SUNLIGHT rushes offstage.]

[NARRATOR enters.  MOONLIGHT continues to sit, looking exhausted.

Scene 3 – Hermit’s hut

[Stage set: A backdrop is painted to show the inside of HERMIT’s hut.  The door is red on both sides.  There is a small table with chairs around it and some wooden bowls placed on top.]

[SUNLIGHT, MOONLIGHT and HERMIT enter.]

SUNLIGHT:
Okay, Moonlight, we’re here. We made it.

MOONLIGHT:
I still can’t believe you found a hut out here in this wilderness. (to Hermit) Thank you. (swoons again, and Sunlight catches him)

HERMIT:
Sit, lad. (leads Moonlight to chair) Your brother told me how you came to be in the desert, all by yourselves. (pretends to pour water into the cup and hands the cup to Moonlight) Take a small sip. Then wait a moment, and take another.

[MOONLIGHT sips, waits a moment, and sips again.]

HERMIT:
Good, that’s the way.

MOONLIGHT:
Ah, delicious! Sunlight, do you want some?

SUNLIGHT:
Sure. (takes a hearty swallow)

MOONLIGHT:
Hey!

SUNLIGHT:
Oh. Sorry. (hands it back)

HERMIT:
(takes the glass, fills it with more water, and gives it back to Moonlight) You are both thirsty. Well, boys. There’s something I’m thinking about.

SUNLIGHT:
What?

HERMIT:
It’s clear your home situation is not so great.

SUNLIGHT:
You got that right.

HERMIT:
Boys, here in my hut, life is simple. I fetch water, I cook meals, and when the sun is strongest I rest. It would be kind of nice to have company around here for a change.  And a bit of help with the chores. Do you know what I’m trying to say?

SUNLIGHT:
I think so.

HERMIT:
You are both welcome (gestures around) to stay here, at my humble hut.

SUNLIGHT:
(looks around) Thank you, but your place is small.  We’d only get in the way.

HERMIT:
Well, I suppose I understand.  Though I hope you’ll at least stay long enough for your brother to recover. 

MOONLIGHT:
It would be nice to have a place to get strong again.

SUNLIGHT:
(looks around) I could help fix up the place, in the meantime.

HERMIT:
Wouldn’t that be nice? (pauses) Though there is one thing you should know.

MOONLIGHT:
What’s that?

HERMIT:
Years ago Batu Khan — that’s the name of the Khan who rules this part of the land — received a prophecy. The prophecy told that one day Batu Khan will lose his throne to a young man from a strange land. So whenever our Khan hears a stranger has entered the kingdom, he sends his royal guards to round him up.

SUNLIGHT:
Round him up?

MOONLIGHT:
(to his brother) WE are strangers here.

SUNLIGHT:
Maybe staying isn’t such a good idea.

HERMIT:
Don’t worry. We’re deep in the woods. And we’re surrounded by desert. Who comes here?  As long as no one sees you out and about, we’’ll be fine.

MOONLIGHT:
We didn’t see anyone in the desert. (to Sunlight) Did we?

SUNLIGHT:
(shakes head) I don’t think so. (to Hermit) I’m almost afraid to ask, but what happens to the strangers after they get rounded up?

HERMIT:
They’re brought back to Batu Khan’s palace, and are never seen again. Some people say they are sent to the cave of the demon-bears. And that would explain it. Those monsters are hungry beasts.

 

SUNLIGHT:
We’d better stay on the lookout. I’m going to check outside, right now.

[SUNLIGHT exits.]

MOONLIGHT:
(takes another sip of water) Even if we can’t stay, we’re lucky we found you.

[SUNLIGHT runs onstage.]

SUNLIGHT:
Soldiers! Coming this way!

HERMIT:
Hide! You must both hide! Quick!

[SUNLIGHT and MOONLIGHT crawl under the table. SOLDIER #1 and SOLDIER #2 enter.]

SOLDIER #1:
Where are they?

SOLDIER #2:
We know they’re here!

HERMIT:
What are you talking about? (moves in front of the table) Who are you talking about?

SOLDIER #1:
You know who. The strangers. The boys!

HERMIT:
I have no idea what you’re talking about.

SOLDIER #2:
You know very well! (loudly) You must tell us where they are or ELSE! (raises arm and moves toward Hermit)

SOLDIER #1:
Tell us or pay the price! (also raises arm and moves toward Hermit)

[SUNLIGHT leaps out from under the table.]

SUNLIGHT:
No, stop! Don’t hurt him!

SOLDIER #2:
Aha, you ARE here! You must come with us, boy.

SUNLIGHT:
All right. But leave the old man alone!

SOLDIER #1:
If you tell us where that other young man is, no harm will come to his old bones.

SUNLIGHT:
(to audience) What can I do? I can’t let them find Moonlight. But I can’t let them harm the old hermit, either!

SOLDIER #1:
(to Soldier #2) Look under the table!

SUNLIGHT:
(still to audience) Oh, I know! (wails loudly) If only he WERE under that table. (dramatically) If only I had died with him in the desert!

SOLDIER #1:
What are you jabbering about?

SUNLIGHT:
My poor brother! He couldn’t go on in the heat. He said I should go on without him.  And then I was supposed to keep him in view. But then I couldn’t see him. Where was he? (runs about as if seeking his brother) My brother! My brother! I thought he was here. (gestures to one spot) But no! And then I thought he was THERE. (gestures to another spot) But NO!

SOLDIER #2:
ON with it! We don’t have all day.

SUNLIGHT:
And then I found him! (arms up in despair) AUGHH! My brother!  I left him alone in the desert and he died of thirst and the heat! There was nothing I could do for him but bury his poor body in the desert. Deep in the sand.  (wails) If only I had stayed there with him! We would have perished together, and I would be with him now! (looks upward) Wherever he is.

SOLDIER #1:
You say you buried your brother. Where?

SUNLIGHT:
I told you, in the desert. I’ll show you. It’s only a six hour walk from here. I know I can find his grave. It was by a couple of bushes near a hill. A small hill. Or it may have been a larger hill … A small kind of larger hill, yes that was it..

[SOLDIER #1 and SOLDIER #2 look at each other.]

SOLDIER #2:
Do you think we should go?

SOLDER #1:
It’s hot out there. Let’s not, and say we did.

SOLDER #2:
I’m with you. (to Sunlight) All right, young man. You’re coming with us.

SOLDIER #1:
And move it!

[SOLDIER #1, SOLDIER #2, and SUNLIGHT exit. After they are offstage, MOONLIGHT emerges and he and HERMIT give a quick hug.]

Scene 4 – Batu Khan’s castle

[Stage set: A backdrop is painted to show a bright, colorful castle painted in the background.  That’s the castle of BATU KHAN.  To one side is a cluster of trees with a dark black background.  This is where DEMON-BEARS will enter, later.  In the castle area are two thrones.]

[PRINCESS ANU sits on one throne, next to her father BATU KHAN, who sits beside her on the other throne.]

PRINCESSN ANU:
Father, hasn’t the prophecy done enough damage already?

BATU KHAN:
It is better for one man to go to his death than to risk a stranger’s taking over my throne and doing who-knows-what-else?  Perhaps turn my subjects into slaves – or worse!

PRINCESS ANU:
Father, with all due respect.  What if the two young strangers you seek are just regular travelers who happened to come onto our land?

BATU KHAN:
You’re too trusting. When you get older, you’ll understand.

[SOLDIER #1 and SOLDIER #2 bring in SUNLIGHT.]

BATU KHAN:
Ah, you found the strangers. Good work! Where’s the other one?

SOLDIER #1:
His brother died in the desert.

BATU KHAN:
(points to Sunlight) You may have survived the desert, young man, but you will NOT live to fulfill the prophecy. Take him away, at once. To the cave of the demon-bears!

[PRINCESS ANU stands up.]

PRINCESS ANU:
Father, please! Spare this stranger.

BATU KHAN:
Exactly WHY should I do that? 

SUNLIGHT:
Your Majesty, I know of the prophecy. Believe me, I have no desire to…

BATU KHAN:
Enough! Silence!

PRINCESS ANU:
Father, you can’t continue to capture every stranger who enters our land!

BATU KHAN:
I most certainly CAN and I WILL! That’s IT! You are no longer my daughter! I am sending you to the demon-bears’ cave along with this young stranger. (to Soldier #1 and Soldier #2) Take them BOTH away. NOW!

PRINCESS ANU:
Oh no! Please no!

[SOLDIER #1 and SOLDIER #2 take SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS ANU offstage.  They will re-enter almost immediately, but at the very front of the stage.]

[BATU KHAN exits.]

Scene 5 – Demon-bears’ cave

[Stage set:  Similar to Scene 2.  This scene takes place at the front of the stage, in front of all the set pieces.  (See Performance Notes for ideas on ways to separate this scene from the items on stage).]

[SOLDIER #1 and SOLDIER #2 bring SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS ANU onstage.  SOLDIERS exit.]

SUNLIGHT:
I knew my own fate was sealed the minute I saw those soldiers. But for your young life to be forfeit as well – what a waste!

PRINCESS ANU:
No more than your own life. Why should someone should lose his life just because he happens to be a stranger who stumbles onto our land?

SUNLIGHT:
The world is a mysterious place. It makes no sense to me.  I only wish your life could have been spared.

PRINCESS ANU:
I only wish your life could have been spared.

[DEMON-BEAR #1, DEMON-BEAR #2, and DEMON-BEAR #3 enter. They speak quietly to each other.]

DEMON-BEAR #1:
What are those two humans jabbering on about?

DEMON-BEAR #2:
They are so worried about each other, they’re not even thinking about what is about to happen to THEM!

DEMON-BEAR #3:
They’re unusual, all right. Most humans care only about themselves. Humans, BAH! (to audience) Humans, yum!

DEMON-BEAR #1:
There’s something about these two. They’re different.  They really seem to care about each other. (sighs) I don’t think I’m hungry anymore.

DEMON-BEAR #3:
Speak for yourself!

DEMON-BEAR #2:
(to Demon-Bear #3) We do as our leader says. (to Demon-Bear #1) What DO you say?

DEMON-BEAR #1:
Follow me.

[DEMON-BEAR #1, DEMON-BEAR #2, and DEMON-BEAR #3 walk toward SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS #1.]

SUNLIGHT:
Oh no, here they come!

PRINCESSS ANU:
(covers face with hands) I can’t look!

DEMON-BEAR #1:
Calm down! Really, such a fuss!

DEMON-BEAR #3:
We’re the ones who should be upset.

DEMON-BEAR #2:
Yeah, we’re the ones who are going to lose our dinner.

SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS ANU, together:
What?

DEMON-BEAR #2:
We heard you talking.

DEMON-BEAR #1:
We never heard of humans who actually cared more about what happened to each other than about themselves.

DEMON-BEAR #3:
We hate to say this, but…

DEMON-BEAR #1:
We could devour you. And we could just as easily free you.

SUNLIGHT:
You mean you might…?

DEMON-BEAR #1:
Go, now! Before we change our minds.

SUNLIGHT:
I can’t believe this! 

PRINCESS ANU:
Thank you!

[SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS ANU run over to the three DEMON-BEARS, arms outstretched.]

SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS ANU, together:
Group hug!

DEMON-BEAR #1:
(pushes back) Uh… don’t push it! I’d get out of here if I were you.  Before we change our minds.

SUNLIGHT:
Right. We’re on our way.  Moving right along.

PRINCESS ANU:
(to Sunlight) I’ll tell my father we were freed. Maybe he’ll take me back.

SUNLIGHT:
(to Princess Anu) I must find my brother. Then I’ll return to the court and find you.

PRINCESS ANU:
I’ll wait for you at court.

[SUNLIGHT and PRINCESS ANU clasp hands quickly, then SUNLIGHT exits. PRINCESS ANU runs offstage.]

Scene 6 – Batu Khan’s castle

[Stage set: as in Scene 4.]

[BATU KHAN enters and begins pacing the floor. PRINCESS WEN enters and sits in a throne, looking worried.]

[After a minute of BATU KHAN’s pacing, PRINCESS ANU runs onstage.]

PRINCESS WEN:
My sister, you’re here!

BATU KHAN:
You’re alive!

PRINCESS ANU:
(kneels) Father, I–

BATU KHAN:
Say no more. After you were sent off, I thought I would never see you again! This is a miracle!  Tell me. How did you come to escape the demon-bears?

PRINCESS ANU:
(stands) The most amazing thing happened, Father. This young man is different from what you think. He was so kind to me that the demon-bears set us both free!

BATU KHAN:
What?! I’ve never heard of such a thing. (rubs chin) Hmmm… Doesn’t sound like the sort of fellow who would bump off an old king to take over his throne. (mutters to audience) Hmm, hmm. (to his daughter) Very well, I’ll make an exception. If he’s as enterprising as all that, he can stay. I could use some new ideas and energy in my court. (starts to get angry again as he thinks about it)  However if he ever even thinks about conspiring against me…

PRINCESS ANU:
Father, don’t worry about it! (to Princess Wen) Guess what? Sunlight has a brother.

PRINCESS WEN:
Do tell!

[PRINCESS ANU and PRINCESS WEN huddle and make expressive gestures.]

[SUNLIGHT, MOONLIGHT, and HERMIT enter.]

PRINCESS ANU:
Sunlight! Great news! My father has agreed to let you stay here at court.

SUNLIGHT:
(kneels) Thank you, Your Majesty. And if I may be so bold to ask a question?

BATU KHAN:
As long as it doesn’t involve my throne.

SUNLIGHT:
Not in the least. Sire, may I ask the pleasure of your daughter, the Princess Anu’s, hand in marriage?

[PRINCESS ANU is squeals with delight.]

BATU KHAN:
(looks at Princess Anu) Well, she seems okay with it. Very well, let there be a royal wedding!

SUNLIGHT:
Thank you, Sire!

BATU KHAN:
The truth is, I’m not as young as I used to be. Being Khan day in and out isn’t what it used to be! Young man, someday you and my daughter will rule this kingdom. Hmph! Maybe the prophecy WILL come true after all – only I’ll hand over the kingdom to a stranger because that’s what I choose to do. (to Moonlight) I take it you’re the brother? The one that (makes air quotes with his fingers) “died”?

[MOONLIGHT shrugs and nods.]

BATU KHAN:
Well, as you’re the brother of Sunlight, you’re welcome here as well.

MOONLIGHT:
Sire, our father, known as Altan Khan, rules the land next to yours. By any chance, have you heard news from his kingdom?

BATU KHAN:
Altan Khan is your father?

SUNLIGHT:
That’s right.

BATU KHAN:
Then you are both princes!

[PRINCESSES are both delighted.]

PRINCESS WEN:
(to her sister) Better and better!

SUNLIGHT:
Yes.

BATU KHAN:
Oh, I’ve heard the Altan Khan is fine. Though the queen disappeared rather suddenly.

[COURT HERALD rushes onstage.]

COURT HERALD:
Sire, there is news! (bows)

BATU KHAN:
What is it?

COURT HERALD:
A new prophecy! Everyone is talking about it!

BATU KHAN:
(holds out arm, palm up) Stop it right there!  

PRINCESS ANU, PRINCESS WEN, SUNLIGHT and MOONLIGHT, together::
(hold our their arms, palms up)  No one’s buying it!

[NARRATOR enters.]

NARRATOR:
And so Sunlight and Moonlight married the two princesses. Sunlight’s father came to the royal double wedding. and Moonlight’s mother was never seen again.  The two royal couples lived in the palace of Batu Khan, and they all lived happily ever after.

[If you have a curtain, close it now. If you do not, fade the lights. If you have no stage lights, all actors come on stage and bow to the audience.]

end

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arianna

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THIS STORY WAS INTERESTING. IT HAD LOTS OF DETAIL AND I THINK YOU WILL ENJOY IT.

 

 

 

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SOURCE

The play script, "Sunlight & Moonlight," was adapted by Lindsay Parker from a story of the same name found at https://www.storiestogrowby.org/story/sunlight-moonlight/  and further described at the end of the story. ©2006 Elaine L. Lindy. All rights reserved.

 

 


FOOTNOTE


Tibet is administered today mostly under the administration of the People's Republic of China. Tibet is also officially claimed by Taiwan. The Chinese government and the Government of Tibet in Exile, however, disagree over when Tibet became a part of China, and whether this incorporation into China was legitimate. (Wikipedia)